Monday, March 10, 2008

Enabling addicts

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) just revealed that it has agreed to shell out $2 million for a building to house a new needle "exchange". VIHA is doing this, in part, to solve a problem resulting from the existing Victoria needle exchange’s eviction due to the filthy, noisy and criminal behaviour of its 1500 "clients". The location of proposed new facility came as a surprise to the neighbourhood:

St. Andrew's elementary schoolchildren in their blue tartan uniforms will pass by drug addicts and pushers on their way to the playground after Victoria's needle exchange moves into the neighbourhood this summer.

"We're very concerned we've received no information before this went public," Pollard [the principal] said. "The safety of the children is our primary concern."

The needle exchange will be adjacent to the newly constructed Our Place homeless drop-in centre, near the Victoria Conservatory of Music, across from a busy McDonald's restaurant and kitty-corner to the private Catholic school.

VIHA is involved because the prevailing orthodoxy on how to deal with dope addicts is "harm reduction" and treating addiction primarily as a health issue. For now this mostly means ensuring that addicts get all the clean drug paraphernalia they need. Though the problems and concerns noted above hardly represent harm reduction for the neighbourhood. And the next step is, of course (though VIHA denies it), safe injection sites where users can shoot up in comfort under the supervision of medical staff.

Overall, the ‘strategy’ effectively makes it easier for addicts to remain addicted. Clean needles, nice facilities and friendly service amount to tacit approval and enabling of drug use. This is somehow supposed to solve the problem of addiction; but, as might reasonably be expected, the number of addicts continues to grow. One supposes the dope suppliers and pushers are very happy with the approach.

The "authorities" have clearly bought into the concept. How do the little people feel?


Anonymous said...

When are they going to open a safe alcohol injestion site?
A bar where the booze is free and the glasses always clean.

It's addiction discrimination I tell ya.

JR said...

Yeah, I can just imagine how the AA 'twelve steppers' feel about the idea of making booze more readily available as a cure for alcoholism.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with the intent to help someone in a reclaimation task to get thier life back on track because all people have value , the Front-end issue for adicts is that others who know there is a safety net under the high-wire will venture out on it knowing the Public will assume all the Costs and risks to maintain the net so adicts can temp failure in life.

There are very few SkyDivers that live to tell about the parachute failures , usually they hit the Earth at about 130 mph and the heart gets ripped away from the Aorta during impact and this is why they have a back-up chute and a plan C,D,E by not jumping alone so expert can hook on to your harness and then pull the ripcord and hope for a lesser problem when landing with 2 people on 1 chute.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Actually Seaton House in Toronto does offer booze to its homeless alcoholic clients.

marginalizedactiondinosaur said...

JR said...

Yeah, I can just imagine how the AA 'twelve steppers' feel about the idea of making booze more readily available as a cure for alcoholism.

I always wonder if these liberals show up at AA meetings with a couple of 24's of beer that are sterilized.

Blazing Cat Fur


It can always get worse. It can always get worse. It can always get worse.

I tell myself that but it does not sink in.

marginalizedactiondinosaur said...

my wife did a project in unuiversity about a country that chained people to a bed who were addicts for 3 months. 3 months later they are cured and released.

Far better and more sensitive to do the Canadian thingy and let it go on decade after decade.

Anonymous said...

You people make a sack of hammers appear smart. The NX does not supply dope, does not allow use on premises nor allow selling in the area. It simply gives out clean syringes all the while forming working relationships with the most severely marginalized. This in order to facilitate positive change in their lives; something accomplished on a regular basis despite the paucity of addiction services on the island. Get informed you effing mental midgets.

By the way, if the NX had been allowed to move the schoolyard would have been cleaner than it is now. The employees would have made certain of that. By the way again idgets: The newly refurbished Open Door clients are....guess what? The NX clients. The NX clients are the Open Door clients. They are in the area of the school already, but the NX staff ain't. And that, my moronic missive scribblers, is the ONLY difference

Reactionary twits. Keep swilling yer beers and try not to think things too deeply.